A new year and a new generation is upon the gaming industry, and gaming enthusiasts remain enthralled by the winds of change. 2014 will see many new and interesting ideas spring forth in the world of video gaming, and the release lineup for the forthcoming months will see the recently released consoles (and ambitious PCs) really flex their muscles. For those willing to venture into uncharted lands and see what their new hardware can do, the following list of upcoming titles should not disappoint.
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Platforms: Android, iOS, Ouya, PC
Release Date: January (Act I), April-May (Act II)
This is the famed “Double Fine Adventure” project that became the Kickstarter success story of 2012, and its development cycle has been … well, troubled, to say the least. The developer has burned through the million dollars it raised and is looking for other sources of revenue to fund the project. However, it still looks like an interesting endeavor, telling the stories of two different characters from two different time periods as they journey through similar-themed adventures. In addition, Double Fine has an incredible track record as the developers of games like “Psychonauts” and “Brutal Legend,” and it’s normally pretty hard to go wrong with them.
Developer: Silicon Studio
Release Date: Feb. 7
Having already been released in Japan to critical acclaim and commercial success, “Bravely Default” is currently being localized for a Western release. The title is developed by Silicon Knights, a relatively unknown indie studio from Japan, known by Americans only for the obscure hit, “3D Dot Game Heroes.” “Bravely Default” appears to be a welcome return for the studio, being a spiritual successor of sorts to the older entries in the “Final Fantasy” series. At times, it almost appears as a parody of “Final Fantasy,” celebrating its tropes while also humorously pointing out their flaws. For fans of old-school Japanese RPGs, “Bravely Default” should be a no-brainer.
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS3, PS4, 360, XBO, PC
Release Date: Feb. 25
“Thief” as a series has a high pedigree to maintain, being considered by many to be the greatest series of stealth titles gaming has had to offer. Fans will be lucky to know that the latest reboot is in good hands, being developed by Eidos Montreal, who rebooted the renowned “Deus Ex” franchise back in 2011 with their exceptional stealth-RPG “Human Revolution.” The developer has a lot to prove yet, but fans are optimistic that this latest entry will live up to the greatness of the original “Thief” games.
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: 360, XBO, PC
Release Date: March 11
As the first game from newborn developer Respawn Entertainment, “Titanfall” has a lot to prove. After all, many members of Respawn are former members of Infinity Ward, the famed developer of “Call of Duty.” “Titanfall” looks to be similar to that other franchise but adds interesting sci-fi landscapes to give it its own feel. The main difference between this and other shooters will be the eponymous Titans, giant mechs that players can pilot. There has been much talk about the balance between the Titans and the pilots fighting on their own, and it will be interesting to see how it affects the game as a result. Still, Xbox and PC owners will be hard-pressed to ignore this multiplayer title.
“INFAMOUS: SECOND SON”
Developer: Sucker Punch
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 21
“Second Son” takes place many years after the original two “Infamous” titles, in a time where superheroes are outlawed and shunned. It’s a setting audiences have seen in many superhero tales, but the characters of “Second Son” appear to have a sense of levity and fun that will keep the story likable. The game play is similar to the other games in the series, and it appears that “Second Son” will be a powerhouse showcase for the PlayStation 4’s graphical capabilities. Whether it will be seen as the PS4’s must-have system-seller remains unknown at this point, but those who own the system should look forward to this title.